Oscar Wilde and "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

The second half of the 19th century in England was characterized by the development of two trends in literature the representatives of the first trend continued the traditions of their predecessors - "the brilliant school of novelists in England" It was represented by such writers as George Eliot (the penname of Marian Evans); George Meredith, Samuel Butler, Thomas Hardy. These novelists gave a truthful picture of contemporary society.
The writers of the other trend by way of protest against severe reality tried to lead the reader away from life into the world of dreams and fantasy, into the world of beauty At the end of the this theory found its expression in decadent literature and art.
Oscar Wilde was one of the representatives of this trend. He was regarded as the leader of the aesthetic movement, but many of his works do not follow his decadent theory of "art for art's sake." In fact, the best of them are closer to Romanticism and Realism than to decadent literature.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on October 16, 1854. His father was a famous Irish surgeon. His mother was well-known in Dublin as a graceful writer of verse and prose.
At school, and later at Oxford, Oscar displayed a considerable gift for art and the humanities. The young man received a number of classical prizes, and graduated with first-class honours. While at the University Wilde became one of the most prominent personalities of the day, he wore his hair long, decorated his rooms with peacock's feathers, lilies, sunflowers, blue china and other beautiful things His paradoxes and witty sayings were quoted everywhere. Under the influence of his teacher, the writer John Ruskin, O. Wilde joined the Aesthetic Movement and became a most sincere supporter of it.
After graduating from the University, O. Wilde turned his attention to writing, travelling and lecturing. The Aesthetic Movement became popular, and Oscar Wilde earned the reputation of being the leader of the movement. In 1882 he went to America to lecture on the Aesthetic Movement in England. His lecture tours were a great success.
During the next ten years his major works appeared: "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" (1888), his novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1891), his comedies "Lady Windermere’s Fan" (1892), "A Woman of No Importance" (1893), "An Ideal Husband" (1895), “The Importance of Being Earnest" (1895). The wit and brilliance of these plays help to keep them on the stage. They are still popular nowadays.
Wilde also wrote poems, essays, reviews, political tracts, letters on history, drama etc.
At home and abroad the writer attracted the attention of his audiences by the brilliance of his conversation, the scope of his knowledge, and the force of his personality.
At the height of his success and popularity tragedy struck He was accused of immorality and sentenced to two years imprisonment. When released from prison in 1897 he lived mainly on the Continent and later in Paris. In 1898 he published his powerful poem, "Ballad of Reading Goal." He died in Paris in 1900.

Literary work
Oscar Wilde's 'works reflect the emotional protest of an artist against social conditions in England at the end of the 19th century. He came to the conclusion that art was only thing that really existed and was worth living for. He declared that life only mirrored art. Beauty is the measure of all things, that's why his desire was to escape from all the horrors of reality into the realm of beauty.
Oscar Wilde wrote, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well-written, or badly-written. That is all."
Like most writers and poets, Oscar Wilde glorifies natural beauty, but at the same time he is an admirer of artificial colours. In his works he compares blood to a ruby, the blue sky to a sapphire, man's beauty to that of silver, gold, ivory and precious stones.
Though O. Wilde proclaims the theory of extreme individualism, he often contradicts himself. In his works, in his tales in particular, he glorifies not only the beauty of nature and artificial beauty, but also the beauty of devoted love. He admires unselfishness kindness and generosity ("The Happy Prince", "the Nightingale and the Rose"), he shows deep, sympathy for the poor (The Devoted Friend"), he despises selfishness and greed ("The Selfish Giant"). In his plays O. Wilde gives realistic pictures of contemporary society and exposes the vices of the world.
His only novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is considered to be his masterpiece. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" describes the life of a young man, Dorian Gray, or to be more exact, his spiritual life. The author touches upon many important problems of contemporary life: morality, art and beauty in particular.
At the beginning of the novel Dorian Gray is an inexperienced youth, a kind and innocent young man. He is influenced by two men with sharply contrasted characters: Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton. The attitude of these two towards the young man shows their different approach to life, art and beauty.
Basil is an artist to the core. He paints Dorian Gray and puts his whole soul into the work. He is kind, generous, honest and humane. To his mind, art without beauty is shallow. He worships Dorian's beauty. The young man's appearance is a kind of inspiration to the artist, an embodiment of beauty which is in full harmony with the inner world of Dorian Gray.
On the other hand, Lord Henry influences Dorian Gray. Basil does not idealize Lord Henry. He does not conceal the fact that he is afraid of Lord Henry's influence over the young man. Lord Henry is handsome, pleasant to listen to. His speech is full of paradoxes But at the same time Lord Henry is heartless, cynical and immoral. He loves no one, he believes neither in real friendship, nor in love. His life is shallow. His eloquent and cynical speeches work like poison in Dorian's blood: "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. ...Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you. Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing…"
The thought that he can deprive Basil of Dorian's company pleases Lord Henry. He knows that lie has ruined Dorian's life, but he does not care. The fact that Dorian is fascinated by his personality gives him pleasure and that is the only thing his selfish nature wants.
The author shows the gradual degradation of Dorian Gray. At first he is tortured by his conscience, but soon after Sybil Vane's tragic death he becomes even more cynical and immoral than Lord Henry himself. Basil Hallward is aware of Lord Henry's corrupting influence ever the young man. He suffers terribly, but his attempts to show Dorian, how cruel and heartless he is, prove a failure. Dorian brings misfortune to everyone he comes in touch with, and finally he becomes a real murderer. He kills Basil Hallward, the only man who knows the secret of his soul. All his crimes are immediately reflected on his portrait. In the end his picture is disgusting and ugly, and so is his soul.
The end of the novel shows a certain change in Dorian's character. Life has suddenly become too hard for him to bear. He wishes to do away with his former life. The only evidence of it is his portrait. He stabs it with a knife. As soon as he does it, he dies "withered, wrinkled and loathsome of visage" with a knife in his heart while the picture acquires its former beauty, a unity of form and content.
Oscar Wilde conveys the idea that real beauty cannot accompany an immortal life.

1 comment:

Blog Cepot said...

They’re amazing I especially liked the last one – Berapa Harga Obat Herbal Kutil Kelamin de Nature Id